Ghazals Romantic songs

At first sight……

The internet throws up some rare gems. I was driving back from the hospital earlier today, when after a Gaurav Arya “Offensive Defense” clip, this song played out on the car audio. I had only a faint recollection of the ghazal. I must express gratitude to Sachin Soni who has rendered yeoman service to music lovers in general, specially ghazal lovers and lovers of Jagjit Singh’s singing specifically by uploading his treasure trove of private mehfil renditions from the early 70s that took place in Kenya for everyone to be astounded, enchanted and addicted..

This is one such ghazal. Check it out.

Dil Lakhnawi is the shayar. Simple, straightforward, easy to understand poetry that cuts straight to the audience’s hearts, evoking appreciation and admiration as well.

बे-इरादा नज़र उनसे टकरा गई

बे-इरादा नज़र उनसे टकरा गई 

ज़िन्दगी में अचानक बहार आ गई 

रूख़ से पर्दा उठा चाँद शर्मा गया 

ज़ुल्फ़ बिखरी तो काली घटा छा गई 

वो जो हँसते हुए बज़्म में आ गए                          

मैं ये समझा क़यामत क़रीब आ गई

उनकी ज़ुल्फ़ों में पड़ते हुए ख़म देखकर 

शेख़ जी की तबीयत भी ललचा गई

मौत क्या चीज़ है मैं तुझको समझाऊँ क्या 

इक मुसाफ़िर था रस्ते में नींद आ गई

दिल में पहले सी ऐ ‘दिल’ वो धड़कन नहीं 

मोहब्बत में शायद कमी आ गई

-दिल लखनवी 

बज़्म = महफ़िल, सभा,

ख़म: टेढ़ापन, वक्रता, घुमाव, झुकाव

The imagery is vivid and extremely romantic. Truly love at first sight.

Check out this longer digitally restored version from a live concert. The composition is so different from the Kenya concert (posted above), and very enjoyable. The mood is quite different.

Do listen to both the renditions. Stay happy, healthy and well hydrated as the heat heightens.

Inspiration Motivation Sunrise

बस यूँही……..

With the Sun rising early these days, I am frequently greeted by a golden sunrise on the way to the hospital. The nearest star to our home planet spreads cheer and exhorts us to  action, to shed inertia , move our butts and get going.
I remembered the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge written nearly 200 years ago.
Work without Hope
(Composed 21st February 1825)
All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A resonance of Karmayog from the Bhagavadgita…

तग-ओ-दौ: efforts, struggle, toil

Laxmikant Pyarelal Romantic Duets

Melodious maiden manifestation….

The undoubted music factory and outstanding success that Laxmikant Pyarelal were, they shared lots in common, including a very unglamorous, humble beginning. Both shared an arduous struggle in the mayanagari Mumbai and ended up bumping into one other to forge a very fruitful and extremely productive partnership, one that resulted in musical scores for more than 750 Hindi movies alone. Pyarelal has said in an interview that he was an adept violinist and an expert of sorts in western music. Pyarelal Sharma even wanted to seek greener pastures in the West and wanted to become a regular orchestra player with a renowned group. Laxmikant stopped him and then they started the amazing journey of music for Indian cinema. Laxmikant Kudalkar was so named, as he was born on Laxmi Poojan Day. His father died when he was a child. Because of the extreme poverty he could not complete his schooling.  A family friend, who was a musician himself, advised Laxmikant and his elder brother to learn music to help support the family. Accordingly, Laxmikant learned to play the mandolin and his elder brother learned to play the tabla. He spent two years in the company of the well-known mandolin player Hussain Ali. He began organising and performing in Indian Classical instrumental music concerts to earn some money. The two, especially Laxmikant were huge fans of Shankar Jaikishan. Their subconscious imitation had a strange effect: SJ actually changed their orchestration to not sound like LP. In the days of their struggle, the lessons learnt stayed with them for life. Apparently they never turned down any producer or project no matter how small. They also only used the best of artistes and singers. All three of Latadidi, Ashatai and Rafisaab have sung the largest number of songs in their careers for LP. The relationship was symbiotic. The first movie they composed music for was never released. The first one which saw the light of the day was a fictional story with lots of coincidences and superstition as well as rationality-testing special effects and would appeal to those who love Superheroes, lobotomized kids with Trisomy 21 and Pappu’s piddies, a costume drama called Parasmani made by a man who specialized in such Special Effects films, Babubhai Mistry. The score became very very popular and ensured the duo’s survival and success. Mahipal and Geetanjali were the lead pair. (don’t blame me for this, I didn’t choose them).The film was dubbed in Tamizh with the title Maayamani and released a year later. This is a fabulous, extremely melodious composition in a wonderful raag Yaman Kalyan.

Asad Bhopali wrote the lovely lyrics. What can I say about Rafisaab and Latadidi that hasn’t already been said? They just take you to a different plane with their truly divine singing. One tends to forget all the trials and tribulations of one’s life and mundane existence to reach a beatific state of tranquility. Almost a spiritual experience, this one.

वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए

वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए
वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए
गम ए जिंदगी के अंधेरे में हमने
चिराग ए मुहब्बत जलाए बुझाए
वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए

आहटें जाग उठीं रास्ते हँस दिए
थामकर दिल उठे हम किसी के लिए
कई बार ऐसा भी धोखा हुआ है
चले आ रहे हैं वो नज़रें झुकाए
वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए
वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए
गम ए जिंदगी के अंधेरे में हमने
चिराग ए मुहब्बत जलाए बुझाए
वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए

दिल सुलगने लगा अश्क बहने लगे
जाने क्या क्या हमें लोग कहने लगे
मगर रोते रोते हँसी आ गई है
ख्यालों में आके वो जब मुस्कुराए
वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए

वो जुदा क्या हुए ज़िन्दगी खो गई
शम्मा जलती रही रोशनी खो गई
बहुत कोशिशें कीं मगर दिल ना बहला
कई साज़ छेड़े कई गीत गाए
वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए
वो जब याद आए बहुत याद आए

Stay blessed, folks and take care during the summer. The heat is well and truly, on. Hydrate yourselves and protect your body.

Led Zeppelin

Fifty five years gone….

I was an early adapter to the internet and with some like minded friends even made (what retrospectively was way ahead of the curve) a brief foray in the late 90s into a homegrown start up in the field of telemedicine. We actually had more than 2500 doctors on board that time but basically having to work on 14.4 and then 28.8 kbps dial-up connections (as the situation was in India at the time) made even the simplest of data transmission a real test of patience. Mobile telephony had just begun and mobile internet connectivity was at the time, pretty much a pipe dream. Unsurprisingly, our project would have been a smashing success today if it were to be relaunched. In retrospect our big failing was that we were about 20-30 years too early in the business.

Kids who’ve got used to 4G and 5G today would find such anecdotes quaint and even difficult to believe. It is like kids who think we were born in the stone age as there were no phones (for most part of the country), no television, no personal computers and no internet. Over the last quarter century the www has truly come of age and data zips across like a flash flood would tumble across a waterfall.

Social media were the ones to benefit the most with this changed circumstance. One wouldn’t have had the frenetic activity on FB, Twitter, Insta or whatsapp in the late 90s. People would have quit out of ennui.

Talking of Whatsapp I had a question tossed at me (a not so veiled question, really) from a very skilled guitarist who is from my Alma mater, and now based in the US. I haven’t yet met him face to face but the bond of kinship runs strong in my collegemates. Dr Kalpaj Parekh made a statement/suggestion/request/order to me a couple of nights (in India) “You should do a blog on Led Zeppelin! The greatest rock n roll band!

I responded saying I love their “Stairway to Heaven” , a track considered to be among the most popular and influential works in rock history, and part of Led Zeppelin IV , an album that sold 37 million copies (the number would surely be much higher by now). Kalpaj responded with a direct response that was a tad dismissive. ” Well everyone likes Stairway to heaven but in my opinion Physical Graffiti is their best work. Ten years gone is one of my favourite tunes.” That spurred me to do this piece.

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band that was formed in London in 1968. The band had vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar-driven unique sound, they are considered to be pioneers of sorts in being one of the creators of hard rock and heavy metal, although their style shows a variety of influences, including blues and even folk music. Led Zeppelin deserve credit as they definitely significantly impacted the nature of the industry, especially in creating album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock.

In their initial days they called themselves the New Yardbirds, but soon changed it to Led Zeppelin. In the early days they were unpopular with critics, but they achieved significant commercial success with eight studio albums over the next ten years. Nothing quite succeeds like success, and this adage holds true for Led Zeppelin as well. This song is from Physical Graffiti which was released in the mid 70s. It has this amazing quality about it. It has been described as “A deep, reflective piece with hypnotic, interweaving riffs. Light and dark, shadow and glare, Yin and yang. It sounds like nature coming through the speakers.”  Check this out.

Ten Years Gone‘  gives music fans (in general and Led Zeppelin fans in particular) the ultimate experience of one of the mightiest rock bands there ever was. 

Their performances deliver a quintessentially fun and powerful concert experience with dedicated equipment, style, and sound. It cleverly combines the best of studio and live performance music and equipment.
Originally it was actually intended to be an instrumental piece and Jimmy Page used some 14 guitar tracks to overdub the harmony section. Robert Plant later added lyrics, which are dedicated to a lady who ten years earlier, had made him make a tough choice: it would have to be either her or his music.   In some ways, I am (& a few hundred million others, I am sure) happy he chose music.

Robert Plant explained in an interview in 1975: “Let me tell you a little story behind the song “Ten Years Gone” on our new album. I was working hard before joining Zeppelin. A lady I really dearly loved said, “Right. It’s me or your fans.”
Plant has publicly credited Jimmy Page with the song’s intricate construction: ” Jimmy is the man who is the music. He goes away to his house and works on it a lot and then brings it to the band in its skeletal state. Slowly everybody brings their personality into it.”  It was painstakingly pieced together from sections he’d written. Jimmy Page cites this track as an example of a Led Zeppelin song that wasn’t riff-led, relying on orchestrated guitars instead.
John Paul Jones used guitar and bass pedals to play the song live. This became too much of a chore and they dropped it from their setlists in 1977, but they brought it back when they opened and closed the Knebworth Festival in 1979.
Robert Plant: ” ‘Ten Years Gone’ has been meticulously assembled from different sections written by Jimmy after the tremendous focus dedicated to such a song.”

Jimmy Page was (before Led Zeppelin),  a session musician working with Cliff Richard, Burt Bacharach and Donovan, among others. John Paul Jones was also a popular session player and had even released a single, “Baja,” in 1964.

Jimmy Page formed The New Yardbirds in 1968, which would then change their name to the one that gave them immortality in the world of music,  Led Zeppelin.

Robert Plant had actually helped write many of the songs on their very first album, but had to be left off the credits because he was still under contract with his  record company. No singles were released in England, and very few in the US. Manager Peter Grant tried to keep the record companies from releasing singles, fearing that it would hurt album sales. Very few Led Zeppelin singles were released in the US, and in the UK, none were released until 1997, some 18 years after it was written. Isn’t that so very amazing and also shocking?
Page was very meticulous about packaging for the albums. This would delay the album’s release, but resulted in some cover and sleeve designs that have become much sought after collectibles that have immense value today amongst the diehard fans.
Along with The Beatles, Led Zeppelin is one of only two bands with five diamond albums, meaning sales of more than 10 million each.
It took a while before they sold their music online, but they did eventually allow iTunes to sell their songs.

Ten Years Gone

Then as it was, then again it will be
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Blind stars of fortune, each have several rays
On the wings of maybe, down in birds of prey
Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn’t have to grow
But as the eagle leaves the nest, it’s got so far to go

Changes fill my time, baby, that’s alright with me
In the midst I think of you, and how it used to be

Did you ever really need somebody
And really need ’em bad
Did you ever really want somebody
The best love you ever had
Do you ever remember me, baby
Did it feel so good
‘Cause it was just the first time
And you knew you would

Through the eyes an’ I sparkle
Senses growing keen
Taste your love along the way
See your feathers preen
Kind of makes makes me feel sometimes
Didn’t have to grow
We are eagles of one nest
The nest is in our soul

Vixen in my dreams, with great surprise to me
Never thought I’d see your face
The way it used to be
Oh darlin’, oh darlin’

I’m never gonna leave you
I never gonna leave
Holdin’ on, ten years gone
Ten years gone, holdin’ on, ten years gone
Ten years gone, holdin’ on

—– Jimmy Page/ Robert Plant

A song that’s wonderful, albeit not my favourite Led Zeppelin number (that will still be Stairway to Heaven). Thanks Kalpaj for making me do this. The song comes through equally effectively in a live concert. That’s Led Zeppelin’s forte. Listen to this one.

Have fun folks getting an earful (or two) of Ten years gone. 55 years since the band formed , and they haven’t lost their magic wand at all. Stay safe in the summer.

Environment Inspiration

बस यूँही…….

The big cat is the pride of India’s conservation effort. One Governmental effort that started exactly 50 years ago and is a success story today.
Human stupidity, cruelty and the resultant wanton killing of Tigers had brought the numbers down to around 1165. When the conservation effort started in earnest, numbers have thankfully steadily risen to more than 3150 now.
Just as we are celebrating 75 years of Independence, 75% of the global tiger population is in India. The expanse of tiger reserves across the country has also spread over 75,000 sq km besides witnessing a 75% increase in their population over the last 50 years
The most regal and powerful of the big cats, one sighting in its natural habitat is enough to fill one with awe and its majestic power is only too apparent..

Raja Mehendi Ali Khan Romantic Duets

On the path of love….

Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle and O P Nayyar formed a fabulous creative team. They brought in effervescent, joyous music unlike anything heard before. O P Nayyar was struggling to make a name for himself in the initial days. He got introduced to Geeta Dutt who liked his music and insisted that her husband, Guru Dutt give him a break. That he duly did, O P Nayyar became famous and a brand in his own right, and his initial phase has Geeta Dutt. Soon he discarded her and zeroed in on Ashatai. He was so smitten by Ashatai’s charming voice, he virtually didn’t have any other woman sing for him, until after the break up (Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye)

In his heyday, his mention on the billboards as music director was enough to ensure a modicum of success and he monetized this, becoming the first music director to demand six figure fees and get it, too. Many producers and (non)actors benefited. Shammi Kapoor’s floundering career was salvaged by Tumsa Nahin Dekha, meant to boost Ameeta. This is one prime example of the music saving one actor who would probably have not made it to the screen had it not been for an accident of birth and not succeeded (to the extent he did) had it not been for the music.

The movie, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina was produced by Sashadhar Mukherjee with his son Joy (who always failed to give me any, he was the progenitor of Weapons of Mass Destruction: you need to see just one clip with him carrying an acoustic guitar to realize what I mean), Sadhana Shivdasani in the lead and directed by Raj Khosla. The film has music by O. P. Nayyar.

Shot extensively in Kashmir, that meant the ace lensman, Fali Mistry could stun us with a visual treat. With that and the pretty Sadhana, and some great music to boot, the film raked in the moolah by the truckload.

The director Raj Khosla would later cast the heroine Sadhana in three more suspense thrillers: Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967), leaving Joy out and having the movie going public sighing in relief. The circuitous plot has repeated traumatic amnesia for Joy and the mix-ups traumatized the audience. The music and Sadhana kept them coming into the theaters though, and Sashadhar babu had much Joy en route to the bank.

Ashatai‘s bewitching singing and Rafisaab vocally emoting with equal love-lorn lyrics to match meant that this song is a kind of lovers’ anthem. The honey soaked lyrics are by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, who in partnership with Madan Mohan gave us so many unforgettable melodies and soulful ghazals.

मैं प्यार का राही हूँ
तेरी ज़ुल्फ़ के साए में
कुछ देर ठहर जाऊँ
तुम एक मुसाफ़िर हो
कब छोड़के चल दोगे
ये सोचके घबराऊँ
मैं प्यार का राही हूँ

तेरे बिन जी लगे ना अकेले
हो सके तो मुझे साथ ले ले
नाज़नीं तू नहीं जा सकेगी
छोड़कर ज़िन्दगी के झमेले
नाज़नीं तू नहीं जा सकेगी
छोड़कर ज़िन्दगी के झमेले

जब भी छाए घटा
याद करना ज़रा
साथ रंगों की उम्र कहानी
मैं प्यार का राही हूँ
तेरी ज़ुल्फ़ के साए में
कुछ देर ठहर जाऊँ
तुम एक मुसाफ़िर हो
कब छोड़के चल दोगे
ये सोचके घबराऊँ
मैं प्यार का राही हूँ

प्यार की बिजलियाँ मुस्कुराएं
देखिये आप पर गिर न जाएं
दिल कहे देखता ही रहूँ मैं
सामने बैठकर ये अदाएं हाए
दिल कहे
दिल कहे देखता ही रहूँ मैं
सामने बैठकर ये अदाएं
ना मैं हूँ नाज़नीं
ना मैं हूँ महजबीं
आप ही की नज़र है दीवानी
मैं प्यार का राही हूँ
तेरी ज़ुल्फ़ के साए में
कुछ देर ठहर जाऊँ
तुम एक मुसाफ़िर हो
कब छोड़के चल दोगे
ये सोचके घबराऊँ
मैं प्यार का राही हूँ

A wonderful memory and a melody that is so popular through the sixty years after it was released it was requested by a kid brother whose nephew is the currently convalescing Fast Bowler.

Have a wonderful day and week ahead, folks. Stay healthy. Hope the monsoon beats the prophecies of the weathermen to prove their (reliable lack of) reliability

Nature Environment Serenity Introspection

बस यूँही…..

The mountain ridge stood silently, the peaks standing in unison , looking down at me somewhat bemused by my visiting them yet again. Like us, Choco loves being outdoors too.
A sense of freedom, of peace, of soaking in the silence, barring the rustling of the leaves, the chirping of the birds, the whistling of the breeze….
Aah! That’s Nirvana….. You’re one with the Supreme being without having to shed your body to do it.

मस्तूर: छुपी हुई, veiled

Memories Pink Floyd

The dark side of the moon…

During my days as an undergraduate student in the famous Seth G S Medical College, I met some really wonderful people who fed my curious brain with more and more fodder and helped widen my intellectual horizons. Many of them were 2 years my senior, Prakash Nadkarni, Quresh Maskati, Rajesh Parikh, Suleman Merchant, Avinash Supe and Shishir Modak were so very active in areas other than the inevitable academics. Knowing these definitely helped me get my work- life balance sorted out ab initio. The nurturing of these interests has been my greatest achievement. My patients (and friends and even family) are bemused when I conduct a program on music or write this blog or post some of my photographs, possibly expecting that doctors are meant to be unidimensional pretty boring folks, which to be fair so many actually are. G S was a different grooming ground where we worked and played hard. We had an active Wallpaper, Debating Society, Marathi Literary Society, Film Club and Photography Club, apart from all the sports you could name.

I first heard this band when we went to IIT Delhi for an intercollegiate competition ( Youth Festival which they called Rendezvous) . All the kids coming to Delhi had to inform the organizers in advance and we were put up one or two to a room of a student. Prakash and I stayed with a rather obnoxious looking hirsute bespectacled guy who looked (& smelt) like he had not bathed for a few months and had not taken a haircut for longer. But despite his (carefully cultivated, no doubt ) Che Guevaraesque look, he was a wonderful host. IIT Campus in Mehrauli was typical of all IIT’s and we had a great time. Our host played this the first evening on his cassette player ( Boom Boxes hadn’t become standard then). I rather liked the sound of Pink Floyd and this was just fabulous. Pink Floyd were truly the architects of two major music movements—psychedelic space-rock and blues-based progressive rock—and became known for their biting political, social and emotional commentary.

A bit about the song: It was sung by Roger Waters with amazing harmonies by David Gilmour, who would continue to sing it on his solo tours. Gilmour sang the lead vocal when Pink Floyd performed it live on their 1994 tour (as can be heard on Pulse). The band originally called this track “Lunatic” during live performances and recording sessions. “Brain Damage” was released as a digital single on 19 January 2023 to promote The Dark Side of the Moon 50th Anniversary box set.

Roger Waters has stated that the insanity-themed lyrics are based on former Floyd frontman Syd Barrett’s mental instability, with the line “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon” indicating that he felt related to him in terms of mental idiosyncrasies. The line was sung by the chorus and was also used as the title for the album.

The lyrics are quite illustrative of this.

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day, the paperboy brings more

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You rearrange me ’til I’m sane
You lock the door and throw away the key
And there’s someone in my head, but it’s not me

And if the cloud bursts thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

Song written by:  George Roger Waters

The uncredited manic laughter is that of Pink Floyd’s then-road manager, Peter Watts.

The references to Syd Barrett’s insanity are very clear right from the beginning. The song has a rather famous opening line, “The lunatic is on the grass…”, whereby Waters is referring to areas of turf which display signs saying “Please keep off the grass” with the obvious implication that ignoring such signs might be an act of insanity. The lyrics’ tongue-in-cheek nature is seen in Waters’ assertion in a documentary Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon that not letting people on such beautiful grass was the real insanity. The line “And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes…” references Barrett’s erratic behaviour before he left the band; because of his mental issues, there were more than a few occasions where Barrett would play an entirely different song than the rest of the band in the middle of a concert. Imagine the unsettling, disruptive effect on the band for other members and on the audience.

The song is truly immortal and Waters sings it to rapturous audiences to this date, 50 years after the song was first recorded.

Hope you folks like the song, which is so much a part of my memories. Stay blessed and healthy

Romantic Duets Uncelebrated Bollywood Composers

Passion perfectly portrayed….

Bollywood has made a habit of compartmentalizing actors, actresses, composers and even directors. Imagine what would have happened if a Pran hadn’t stuck to hia firm resolve and not stopped doing villainous roles. We would have surely missed out on a very good actor.

The song for the day is about such a person. He was a handsome, tall, strapping young Engineering student from Andhra Pradesh with dreams of becoming an actor and striking big in Bollywood. He actually according to the popular story sold his books and bought a one way ticket to reach Mumbai. He did get some big banner movies but never could strike a chord as a hero.

Ajit was born Hamid Ali Khan and will always remain something of an enigma to me. Despite possessing all the basic needs to become a famous actor, (& being able to act) he was stuck with indulging himself in villainy. He did act in more than 200 movies in 4 decades.

This is much later when he actually was cast as a hero. The movie Shikari was made by F C Mehra. It was shot extensively in the jungles of Malaysia. The director, scriptwriter and story writer seem to be fans of Hollywood movies. As a result, this film appears to be loosely based on Hollywood films Dr. Cyclops and King Kong.

The resultant plot is quite harebrained and Ajit stars with Ragini , one of the Travancore sisters . The undoubted saving grace is the music by G S Kohli.

GS Kohli (Gurusharan Singh Kohli) was born in Punjab in 1928, and was one of the immensely talented music composers of Hindi Cinema.. He was an expert in playing Dholak and many other -chiefly but not only, percussion- instruments. When Dalsukh M. Panchol gave OP Nayyar his first break with Aasmaan in the early 50s, OP Nayyar chose Kohli as his assistant. Kohli remained his assistant till 1968, even after becoming an independent Composer himself and scoring for many movies.

Kohli has contributed significantly in OP Nayyar’s popular films like CID, Mr. and Mrs 55, Aar Paar, Hum sab chor hain, Naya Daur, Mujrim, Do Ustaad and Kashmir Ki Kali.

In 1960 Kohli’s First film as an independent Music Director came along — ‘Lambe Haath’. His second film was Mr.India the next year and then came Faulad, Shikari, Chaar Darvesh, Adventures of Robin Hood, Namasteji, Do Matwaale, Naujawan, Sangdil, Jung aur Aman and Gunda. His last film was Jaalsaaz late in the 60s.

Although Kohli was exceptional as an arranger for OP Nayyar and as a composer, he could not shine as an independent composer in the brutal competition of Bollywood and has only B and C grade movies for music. Only Shikari and Namasteji songs became very popular. The famous songs “Chaman ke phool bhi tujhko” and “ Agar main poochhoon jawaab doge” are from Shikari (early 60s). And how can one forget Mohammed Rafi’s soulful melody “Maana mere haseen sanam” from an unlikely movie called ‘The Adventures Of Robinhood’

अगर मैं पूछूँ जवाब दोगे
दिल क्यों मेरा तड़प रहा है
तेरे ही दिल में है प्यार कुछ कुछ
मेरे भी दिल में ज़रा ज़रा है

बुरा न मानो, तो अपने हाथों
ये बिखरी ज़ुल्फ़ें, सँवार दूं मैं
हसीन पलकों की छाँव में अब
ये सारा जीवन गुज़ार दूँ मैं
ये दिल की बातें कोई न सुन ले
सनम ज़माना बड़ा बुरा है, अगर मैं ...

नज़र बचा के, अगर मैं जाऊं
तो मेरा दामन, ना थाम लेना
कोई जो पूछे ये क्या हवा है
कभी भी मेरा ना नाम लेना
लगा के दिल से रखेंगे हम तो
ये दर्द तेरा दिया हुआ है, अगर मैं ...

ये ठंडी ठंडी, मचलती लहरें
हमारे दिल को, जला न जाएं
उठी है तूफ़ाँ दिल-ओ-नज़र में
किसे बचाएं किसे संभालें
न चैन तुमको ना होश हमको
ये क्या हुआ है ये क्या हुआ है, अगर मैं ...

The lyrics by Farooque Kaiser were set to a very melodious tune in Bhimpalasi. A fantastic duet with Rafisaab and Latadidi resulted from this. Don’t ask silly questions like how did that small transistor pick up All India Radio programs in the jungles of Malaysia. Or what is a hunter who is looking for a giant ape (genetically engineered in the 60s!) doing romancing a beautiful danseuse. Just enjoy the song.

Have a wonderful Sunday, folks. Stay healthy and hydrate yourself.

Introspection Nightscapes Pure joy Romancing the Moon

बस यूँही…..

Bereft of the polluted air and the urban haze, celestial bodies appear brighter and happier in the mountains. The moon shines with a greater, pristine glow as she literally lights up the skies.
I have always been a great admirer of Selene and find something new in her every single time I look at her beatific silver façade.
Last night, while admiring her divine, enchanting, addicting beauty, I was reminded of the shortest poem Robert Louis Stevenson has written.
Robert Louis Stevenson called it ‘Happy Thought’. This poem from Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885) is only two lines long, so it is worth quoting in full here:
The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

Taken with my go-to DSLR, Nikon D 850. 500 mm lens. Handheld, fully manual. F 6.3, ISO 80, 1/50 seconds